Alan McGaughey leads the Nanoscale Transport Phenomena Laboratory, which seeks to understand the transport of mass, momentum, and energy at the atomic level by studying the behavior of phonons, photons, electrons, and fluid particles. Their research is based in mechanical engineering and incorporates knowledge from physics, materials science, and chemistry. They develop and apply molecular- and meso-scale simulation techniques, and collaborate closely with experimental research groups.

He received a Bachelor of Engineering from McMaster University (1998), a Master of Applied Science from the University of Toronto (2000), and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan (2004). He came to Carnegie Mellon University in 2005 after a post-doc at the University of Florida.

His work was recognized by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Program in 2009. His commitment to innovation in teaching has earned him the Benjamin Richard Teare Teaching Award in 2014 and participation in the National Academy of Engineering’s Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium in 2015. He has been voted Professor of the Year by the Mechanical Engineering seniors three times (2012, 2015, 2017). He received a 2019 College of Engineering faculty award, and has been published in Nature Materials for his team’s discovery of the effects of rotational disorder on thermal conductivity in superatomic structures.

318 Scaife Hall
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Alan McGaughey
Nanoscale Transport Phenomena Laboratory

Nanoscale Heat Transfer: Thermal Conductivity Prediction


2004 Ph.D., University of Michigan

2000 MS., University of Toronto

1998 Bachelor of Engineering, McMaster University

Media mentions

CMU Engineering

Predicting portable power

Researchers at CMU and the University of Texas at Austin have designed a model that accurately predicts a battery’s charge curve, which could impact the safety and reliability of electric vehicles.

CMU Engineering

Move over metals, plastics can be thermally conductive too

An interdisciplinary team led by Jon Malen has received funding from the Department of Defense to discover switchable high thermal conductivity polymers.

CMU Engineering

Meitz first in 25 years to receive DOE graduate fellowship

Mechanical engineering student Ethan Meitz is working to create predictive nanoscale models for the thermophysical properties of liquids.

Mechanical Engineering

Releasing the heat

Researchers develop a universal model to predict the thermal boundary conductance of a multilayered-metal-dielectric interface. This model will help to streamline the development of thermally efficient devices.

McGaughey selected for fellowship

MechE’s Alan McGaughey has been selected to receive the 2021 Viskanta Fellowship from Purdue University, which seeks individuals with “demonstrated abilities to perform independent and innovative research in the field of thermal sciences.”

Engineering faculty awarded professorships

Engineering faculty Peter Adams, Elizabeth Dickey, Carlee Joe-Wong, Pulkit Grover, Alan McGaughey, Rahul Panat, and Douglas Weber were awarded professorship titles in February and March 2021.

College of Engineering names 2019 faculty award winners

The College of Engineering has announced the winners of the 2019 faculty awards. They include: Alan McGaughey, Paulina Jaramillo, Jana Kainerstorfer, Reeja Jayan, Carmel Majidi, Jonathan Malen, and Vijayakumar Bhagavatula.

Scott Institute

Eight faculty receive Scott Institute seed grants for energy research

The Scott Institute recently selected awardees from the College of Engineering for its seventh round of seed grants for energy research.

Mechanical Engineering

Seeding energy research

Three faculty members in the Department of Mechanical Engineering received Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation’s Seed Grants for Energy Research.

Wang wins best poster award at IMECE

Ph.D. student Xiaoman Wang earned the award for Best Poster Presentation in the Society-Wide Micro and Nanotechnology Forum at the International Mechancial Engineering Congress & Exposition in Pittsburgh, Pa. Wang is a student of Professor of Mechanical Engineering Alan McGaughey. 

McGaughey named faculty chair-elect

MechE’s Alan McGaughey was appointed the College of Engineering faculty chair-elect.

Nature Materials

Malen and McGaughey published in Nature Materials

MechE Professors Johnathan Malen and Alan McGaughey published an article in Nature Materials on their team's discovery of the effects of rotational disorder on thermal conductivity in superatomic structures.